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Pros say hospitality jobs and trends are all about attitude

By Mike Peters ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-03-01 09:33:44

Pros say hospitality jobs and trends are all about attitude

Two doormen welcome customers at a Nanjing hotel in Jiangsu province. [Photo by Yang Duoduo/China Daily]

The PowerPoint slides flash by. We see a group of people sitting in the stands at an exciting hockey game. Then a group of people at a mouth-watering banquet. Then a just-married couple in bed on their wedding night.

Each scene makes the audience gathered in the auditorium laugh a little harder-because they all have one thing in common. No one is paying attention to their surroundings. They are all busy texting their friends, even the back-to-back and apparently naked bride and groom.

Professor Sacha Stocklin of Les Roches Jin Jiang International Hotel Management College isn't showing these funny scenes just to entertain the crowd at the recent Young Hospitality Professionals Summit in Shanghai. The point: Young people in the hospitality business have to focus on the customer in front of them, not their phone. He concedes that it's not easy to modify what has become normal behavior today-especially for the millennial generation-while at work.

"The essence of success in the hospitality industry is 'work hard, play hard'," says Jerry Huang, vice-chairman of the China Tourism and Hotels Association. Huang, a keynote speaker at the event, says that means not only having passion but being eager to meet and relate to people.

The rewards in China's service industry are great, especially in high-end hotels and restaurants with an international clientele, says Stocklin, whose school offers programs from hotel finance to food and beverage management.

Positions for managers, hosts and waitstaff in the industry are so hard to fill that interns from his program are generally snapped up for full-time jobs-sometimes before their internships are over.

"I had one student last year who, on the first day of her internship, found that she was the quality-control manager for food and beverage at a five-star hotel," he says, shaking his head. "That should not have happened-not good for her or for the hotel. But it shows you how great the demand is for people who have any training in this field."

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